May 15, 2019 4:26 PM
CARROLLTON - It's the best of both worlds for Nathan Walker.
He's accomplished two longtime goals; officially signed to play college baseball and major in engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
"I've wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember and Rose-Hulman is one of the best engineering schools around," Walker said. "I got to think about after baseball and what am I going to do with my life after baseball and Rose-Hulman is going to set me up for the real world. I enrolled in the mechanical engineer program they have there, and I'm pretty excited."
Rose-Hulman is located in Terre Haute, Indiana which is the same town where the campus of Indiana State resides. Walker will see some familiar Carrollton faces at Rose-Hulman, but the climate culture will be much different in the halls and around town compared to what he's accustomed to back home.
"There's a couple of kids that I went to school with that go there right now, but leaving the 40 kid classes that we have here and going to college where there are 500 kids at Rose-Hulman, it's going to be a big change," Walker said. "I won't know everybody like I do here. You know where everybody lives and stuff like that. But there you're going to have a group of friends, and that's it."
On the field, Walker has achieved more than just about any athlete in Carrollton history and the entire Riverbender area.
A three-sport athlete, in football he's won back-to-back first team all-WIVC South honors for wide receiver and defensive back as well as being named to the Class 1A all-state team in 2017. Statistically speaking, he is without question the best to ever play wide receiver in school history and the WIVC South. However, in baseball, he's stood out since his freshman year.
His batting average was .305 and then upped it to over .400 his sophomore season, which was good enough to earn all-state honors. This past season he finished batting over .500 and saw him on the all-state team again. For his final year as a Hawk, Walker's batting average is at a staggering .593 with 54 hits, 43 RBI, nine home runs, and most likely a third all-state award on the way.
"I've had a couple of accolades that mean a lot to me," Walker said. I've worked really hard. I've spent countless hours in the cages perfecting my swing. I'm getting my hand-eye contact down and just working on getting better, and it's paid off here in the past couple of years."
Walker attributes his success to hard work and dedication but most importantly being around his father, Sean. He's taken batting practice with Nathan consistently for years to stay in baseball shape while he played football or basketball or in baseball season.
"My dad's my biggest supporter. He'll take me to the cage, and we'll hit a hundred balls a couple of times a week," Walker said. I'm definitely thankful for him. All the work he's put in has helped me in my career."
Walker still has time to write one final piece of history for his extraordinary Carrollton career as the Hawks begin post-season play in the regional semifinals against Brussels this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at Carrollton High School.